Summer is a glorious time, everything is in full bloom and we feel carefree and alive. Now is the time to drink wines that celebrate life but also stand up to the heat. For that, we need something, lighter and fruitier but dry; a wine that will stand up to classic summer foods like barbecue chicken, potato salad, ceviche or gazpacho.
The Spanish happen to do summer wines better than almost anyone else. Why? Summer is sunny, long and hot which means Spanish grapes yield a big fruity taste without being sweet. That same heat inspires winemakers to create a refreshing, dare I say, thirst quenching wines.
Here are four Spanish wines to celebrate life to the fullest.
In summer, every day feels a bit like a party so why not go all the way and pop open some cava? While it is often lumped together with champagne as a special occasion wine, in many parts of Spain it is served as a starter to a meal. Dry cavas are an excellent addition to any picnic or barbecue they are light, refreshing and pair well with a whole range of foods.
White — Albariño
They say you never get over your first love and I heartily concur. My first Spanish white wine is still my favorite, Albariño. I live in landlocked Madrid where at this time of year it feels more like hell than heaven. Having an Albriño is like taking a trip to Galicia, every sip makes me feel like I am standing at the top of a cliff overlooking the Atlantic ocean, taking a big, deep breath.
Rosé, to my mind, is the quintessential summer wine It pairs easily with practically everything and the color range captures every phase of sunrise or sunset.
My discovery of the summer is a super cheap, super delicious rose called Puerto Hierro, DO Madrid. This tempranillo and grenache blend isn't as flashy as some but pulls off a combo cherry, strawberry taste I can't get enough of.
Red — Tempranillo
Some people are not so into red for summer and I must admit I was one of those before I moved to Spain. Tempranillo is an excellent go to summer red, it is a full-bodied without being heavy and very fruity. That said, my go to summer red is S from Sao del Coster, a grenache, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and syrah blend. S is a very approachable, easy-drinking red. I had it the other day with grilled salmon, it has a refreshing berry taste and is full-bodied but not heavy.